Int. J. Dev. Biol. 66: 103 - 113 (2022)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.210204vk
© UPV/EHU Press

Vascular cell-matrix adhesion in development and cancer

Christina Arapatzi1, Georgia Rouni1,2, Vassiliki Kostourou1,*

1Institute of BioInnovation, Biomedical Sciences Research Centre “Alexander Fleming”, Vari-Athens, Greece, 2Department of Biology, University of Patras, Greece

ABSTRACT The development and homeostasis of vertebrate organisms depend on the “tree of life”, in other words, the intricate network of vascular tubes composed of endothelial cells attached to the basement membrane and surrounded by perivascular cells. Although many studies have revealed the fundamental role of cytokines, growth factors and Notch signalling in vascular morphogenesis, we still lack sufficient understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling the various steps of the angiogenic processes. Emerging data highlight that cell adhesions are key players in vascular morphogenesis. In this review, we focus on endothelial cells and we present the current state of knowledge regarding the role of cell-matrix adhesions in developmental and tumour angiogenesis, attained mainly from genetic studies and animal models.

Keywords:

endothelial, angiogenesis, adhesion, migration, cancer

*Corresponding author e-mail: Kostourou@fleming.gr